Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region


Deep Bay Fire Updates Information - (Keep checking back for the latest information!)


June 27, 2014 Update

From Fire Management Officer Bert Plante, "Just now heard from Donnie Harris, there has been 1.3" of rain on the fire during the past two days, so I feel confident we can call it out as of 1200 hr. today."


June 22, 2014 Update-

The Deep Bay Fire was declared controlled on June 16 at 12:30 pm. The cause of the fire was determined to be lightning strike.


June 11, 2014 Update-

Incident Commander Cory Waters checked fire with marsh master. He found one spot toward south end in the root mat of some brush close to shoreline. There has been no more rain. Firefighters will continue to monitor the fire area.


June 10, 2014 6pm Update -

From Incident Commander Cory Waters today at 6pm: Received .40" (4/10) inch of rain on the south end of the fire. One small area, 3' wide of ground fire found today near the line in the north end. Tide really high as well, helping to saturate the fire area. To be very clear, we assume (but have no way to know for sure) the entire fire received that amount of rain. The rain gauge was located on the south end.

ground fire


June 10, 2014 Deep Bay Fire Update

Incident Commander Cory Waters took a boat out into South Lake to check the fire from the north and east and was surprised to find the wind was not blowing the direction it was forecast AND there were three areas with active fire. So, late in the day,firefighters went back to the shop, grabbed a Marshmaster, and trekked across the 'black" to each active area and put them all out. One of the active areas was on a containment line with the wind blowing it toward the "green." We do not know at this time if the fire area received rain last night. Roanoke Island and some areas of East Lake did received rain.

This photo was taken by Waters and shows one of the "smokes" from Sunday. This area burned on Saturday and was re-burning on Sunday... above standing water. Pocosin and marsh habitats simply don't fit the norm when it comes to fire behavior.

Deep Bay Fire SOMOKE on Sunday

June 10, 2014- (Not related to Deep Bay Fire-- but there was a fire on Pea Island)

Pump House Burns on Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge: Crabbing Rodeo Still a "GO"

At approximately 7pm on Monday, Dare Central dispatched the Chicamacomico Volunteer Fire Department to a fire on the west side of the North Pond dike on Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. In addition,employees from the National Park Service, NC Forest Service, and US Fish and Wildlife Service responded to the fire. According to National Park Service Ranger Corey Smith, three fire engines and a total of 12 personnel responded to the incident, which was the pump house for the North Pond Pumping Station.

Deputy Refuge Manager Scott Lanier commented, "The pump at this location was destroyed during Hurricane Irene. It had recently been replaced by Ducks Unlimited under contract with the US Fish and Wildlife Service at a cost of over $400,000. Since installation, we have been having problems with the pump's operation. It's disappointing to loose pumping capabilities in this pond again. Migratory birds like shorebirds and waterfowl will continue to suffer without water management capabilities at Pea Island."

Lanier added, "The Pea Island Crabbing Rodeo, scheduled for Saturday, will still occur. We won't be able to run the pump, but it sounds like there are plenty of crabs in North Pond for the taking."

For more information, contact the Refuge Headquarters at 252-473-1131.

photo credit: Corey Smith (NPS)

North Pond Pump Fire


June 9, 2014

Update on Deep Bay Fire on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

The Deep Bay Fire started some time before 11:00am on Friday, June 6 in the pocosin and marsh habitats north of US Highway 64 on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.  On Friday afternoon, joint efforts by the NC Forest Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service completed lines around the fire using specialized equipment (Marshmasters)  designed to function in very wet conditions.  At 6:30pm on Friday, the fire was called "100% contained" by Incident Commander Bert Plante.   The fire area is approximately 62 acres.

Over the week-end, firefighters monitored the fire and reinforced containment lines.  Saturday and Sunday were a bit drier. Some of the interior portions of the fire burned more actively, and there was some visible smoke.  Today, there has been no smoke or flames observed on the Deep Bay Fire.

The north and east containment lines for the fire are the shoreline of South Lake.  Marshmasters were used on Friday to build about a mile  of  line, completing containment on the south and west sides of the fire.

Today, two Marshmasters with crews continue to provide mop-up and monitoring for the fire.  This afternoon,  current Incident Commander Cory Waters will take a boat into South Lake to check the fire status from that vantage point.

Incident Commander Waters said, "Today, the wind is from the south, and it's expected to be from the south for the next few days.  That should keep any fire or smoke that might occur heading  toward the water and away from highways and homes.  We'll continue to watch this fire, but we don't anticipate much more out of it."

Any future updates will be posted at and on the USFWS in North Carolina Facebook page at

Call 252-473-1131 for more information.


June 7, 2014 5:30pm

Deep Bay Fire continues to burn within the containmenet lines established yesterday. The fire size remains at 62 acres. Incident Commander Bert Plante says the fire is re-burning areas of surface fuels within the containment lines. There is no sign of ground fire.

Firefighters on Marshmaster

Firefighters Jeff Swain and Jon Powers mop-up using a Marshmaster.... broadening containment lines on the Deep Bay Fire. (photo credit: Cory Waters, USFWS)


Today, the equipment seems to be having an easier time! (photo credit: Cory Waters, USFWS)



June 6, 2014 6:30pm

Deep Bay Fire is 100% contained. The estimated size is 50-60 acres. Fire crews will monitor the area to make sure it stays within containment lines.


June 6, 2014 5:15pm

Flextrack is stuck

Specialized equipment is used to fight fire in pocosin habitat. But, even specialized equipment, like this Flextrack, has a difficult time maneuvering in this unfriendly environment.


June 6 4:45pm

Small water drop by NC Forest Service SEAT (single engine air tanker) plane. Water will help slow and cool the fire while we bring in ground-equipment. Equipment has a line about 2/3 around the fire. Incident Commander Bert Plante plans to have a line around it before dark today. The right flank of the fire (north side) is currently uncontained.

Small Tanker drop

Small tanker drop (photo: Cory Waters, FWS)


June 6, 2014 4:00pm

Fire size has increased to approximately 40 acres. Reinforcements are on the way from Mattamuskeet and Pocosin Lakes with two marshmasters. These pieces of specialized equipment join the recently ordered marshmaster from Alligator River and one from the NC Forest Service. This brings the total equipment to 4 marshmasters, 2 Flextracks, a spotter plane and an engine.


June 6, 2014 3:00pm

Fire crews continue to work to reach the fire with specialized equipment in an effort to contain the fire spread. The fire is currently estimated to be 15-20 acres.


NCFS spotter plane


NC Forest Service spotter plane assists firefighting effort from the air. (Cory Waters, USFWS)

FWS Flextrack

USFWS Flextrack making it's way across the portable bridge. Photo: Cory Waters, USFWS


June 6, 2014 2:00pm

Ten-acre Wildfire Reported on Alligator River national Wildlife Refuge

Late morning today, an employee of the N C Forest Service driving on US Highway 64 observed smoke  north of the highway and contacted Fairfield Dispatch.  Both NC Forest Service and Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge  staff responded to the incident.  At this time, the fire approximately 10 acres in size and is located off Deep Bay Road near East Lake on Alligator River national Wildlife Refuge.

The NC Forest Service  responded with a spotter plane, Flextrack, and portable bridge.  The Refuge responded with a second Flextrack and an engine. Both agencies  are providing initial attack in an effort to contain the fire.  The fire is currently under the direction of Bert Plante as Incident Commander.  Plante is the Fire Management Officer for Alligator River national Wildlife Refuge.

 Smoke from Deep Bay Fire

Photo credit:  Cory Waters, USFWS

Photo caption:  Deep Bay Fire was reported around noon on Friday, June 6

portable bridge

Photo credit:  Donnie Harris, USFWS

Photo caption:  Fire crew works to place portable bridge over canal along Deep Bay Road to provide equipment access to fight Deep Bay Fire.


Photo credit:  Donnie Harris (two pics merged)

Photo caption:  NC Forest Service and Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge Fextracks responded to the fire.




Last Updated: <6/6/14